Melissa McCarthy: No Longer “Always a Bridesmaid”

The votes are in! The list of nominees for the 84th annual Academy Awards was announced on January 24th by the lovely Jennifer Lawrence. While most of the contenders were predictable, given their recent nominations for Golden Globe or SAG awards, going into the process the one wild card in the bunch was this summer’s female-driven blockbuster comedy Bridesmaids. Though the Academy has not favored comedies in the past, there was speculation that the film might drum up enough enthusiasm to garner a Best Picture recognition. But alas, while this was not to be, the movie’s breakout star Melissa McCarthy did receive a supporting actress nod for her hilarious portrayal of Megan, the bride’s soon-to-be sister in law with a personality ten cruise ships bigger than her five-foot-two stance.

McCarthy has had quite the banner year-from gaining fan recognition for her role in Bridesmaids to winning an Emmy for her portrayal of Mike and Molly star Molly Flynn, to having Ricky Gervais single her out at the Golden Globes. Though this was clearly a defining year for the actress, here are five other interesting things to know about the Oscar nominee’s career in the entertainment industry:

1. She’s a TV veteran. Before taking the Academy by storm she was probably best known for her role as the sympathetic and kooky Sookie St. James on the mother-daughter series Gilmore Girlsthat ran from 2000 to 2007. She’s held parts on everything from animated kid’s show Kim Possible to the short-lived Christina Applegate comedy Samantha Who, and has made one-episode appearances on Private Practice and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

2. She is married to none other than her Bridesmaids co-star Ben Falcone (yup, the air marshal Megan propositions mid-flight). The two have been married since 2005 and have two daughters together.

3. She was a member of the infamous L.A. improv group “The Groundlings” for more than 10 years. The group helped launch the careers of such hilarious alums as Will Ferrell, Conan O’Brien, and fellow Bridesmaids stars Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig, just to name a few.

4. She’s a screenwriter. McCarthy will star in the upcoming Tammy, a film she wrote with her husband Ben Falcone, and she recently sold a television pilot — another collaboration with Falcone — about a 37 year-old man still living with his parents. Look for the show on CBS in the not too distant future.

5. She designed her dress for the Emmys, and is developing a clothing line of her own. After finding the options for plus sized women frustratingly limited, McCarthy decided to take matters into her own hands and create a line of her own. This shouldn’t be too far of a reach for McCarthy, since she studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology before her career in comedy took off.

Click below to watch a clip of McCarthy’s Oscar nominated performance in Bridesmaids and be sure to tune into the ceremony airing Sunday, February 26 on ABC.